It should be really interesting and will involve a lot of collaboration with a couple of universities out in Kazakhstan. I’ll also be working with a larger team here at Brunel than I normally would. I’m sure there’ll be more posts here once the project is up and running properly.
In the meantime, here’s a little summary from the Brunel press release for the grant award:
A team of academics from Brunel University London have been given a prestigious award to help reduce health risks and environmental damage in Kazakhstan.
The cross-disciplinary group received the £157,000 grant from the British Council’s Newton Institutional Links programme, with the aim of developing evidence-based recommendations for policy-makers in the central Asian country.
The two-year project, titled “A multi-dimensional environment-health risk analysis system for Kazakhstan”, will begin in April 2015. The research will bring together two universities in Kazakhstan (Kokshetau State University and Pavlodar State University) with Brunel staff from the College of Health and Life Sciences, College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences and College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences.
Project lead Dr Andrew Russell, from the Institute for Environment, Health and Societies, said: “Kazakhstan is a really interesting place from an environment and health perspective.
“GDP is quite high, mostly due to natural resources, but health levels are generally quite poor. Environmental degradation plays a large role in this ‘health lag’ as there have been many years of lax environmental control going all the way back to Soviet era nuclear tests.”
The project will employ “Big Data” techniques and scientific knowledge will be applied to health and environment data to identify important relationships. This will enable the development of efficient and robustly tested solutions.